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The European Chronicles - 6/6/14

Day Eleven. 

Positano, Italy (Amalfi Coast)

After Capri took our breaths away and instantaneously gave us the views that vacations are made of and which also headline pamphlets in travel agencies around the world, the city of Positano and it's beautiful stretch of the Amalfi Coast looked to win our hearts in one final attempt.

We started the day with a trip to Sorrento which wasn't bad, but it was alright. Like Capri, it had it's share of narrow roads and impressive drivers which reminded me of the Caribbean. Really, and shockingly, there have been plenty of similarities between the islands in the Caribbean and sections of Italy. 

Nonetheless, Sorrento had some cool shops and a few things to look at, but we weren't staying long enough to enjoy what we were told is a city that truly operates between 11am and Midnight. My kind of hours for you DP devotees that know me personally. We were there around 8am and it wasn't very lively. 

Though, I did come across pasta that was colored and had designs. Yes, almost the Italian way to make the usual meal of pasta that more fun. A picture of this can be seen in the coming paragraphs. 

Following Sorrento, we took a bus ride through the famous Amalfi Coast and it was just jaw dropping. I've pretty much reiterated that phrase several times throughout this series, so I'll just let the pictures later on in this post attempt to give you an idea of what I mean. 

We also headed down to the beach to dip our toes in the water. I wanted to jump in! I really, really, really did! It was such a tease, especially on a 90 degree day. I wished we had time to splash around and enjoy the tremendously warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Also, that little toe-dip caused me to miss the Caribbean. I have to get back there soon. I love Italy, but at times our roots are too strong of a pull. I need some soca! I need some sunshine! 

By the way, no gelato today. Super disappointed. I HAVE to find that stuff when we get back to the States. Just HAVE to. I probably will never eat ice cream again. OK, maybe I will - probably, but I'll do so knowing that it isn't nearly as good as gelato. 

We eventually made our way back here to Rome where I am typing this to conclude what has been an amazing tour. We had one final dinner as a group to the wonderful entertainment of opera singers who were great. Yes, imagine that, this Brooklyn boy in Italy, drinking wine and listening to Opera! Crazy, huh? 

Despite the unlikely scenario for yours truly, it was the best singing I've ever heard - ever. I had no dea what they were saying, but it was impressive and beautiful. They were also fun in getting the audience involved including one bit where I was pulled on stage to dance with and conclude the number to one of the women's numbers. Between dancing with her tonight and with a grandmother in our group a few days ago way back on the Tuscan farm, I've done my fair share of shuffling and toe tapping with older women here in Italy. Yes sir, hide your wives, hide your daughters...and your grandmothers! Just kidding, of course. 

Here are some photos from the trusty mobile phone of today's adventures. Click to enlarge. 









These eleven days have been absolutely tiring, rigorous, exhausting, and at times a grind. However, it's been absolutely fun. The trip of a lifetime. And luckily, we had an amazing group to share it with. From our tour guide in Aida, who I wish I could package and bring back to the States iwth us, to our Bus Driver, Pierro, who is by far the coolest (and realest) Italian man I've come across in my life, along with the other thirty six individuals who walked the countless miles, endured lengthy hours on the buses, suffered through the language and custom barriers, and took in this entire country in just eleven days (!) with my wife and I, it's been an absolute blast. Just a blast! Again, the trip of a lifetime, really.

It's weird, as we all hugged and said goodbye tonight, in some weird and awkward way, we all became so close in just eleven days. From what we hear, this isn't quite normal for these tour groups at all. Boy, I'm sure glad we didn't get the norm. The tag team partner and I really grew close with everyone. 

While this group had members from ever corner of this globe, and thus vowed to keep in touch, I find it mighty difficult, actually doubtful, that this will happen. After all, nothing like hearing, "if you're ever in Australia, give me a buzz, mate!" when saying goodbye to these folks. But again, who knows? Never I thought I would have seen an opera performance in Italy not to long ago.

Regardless, whether we ever cross paths again, all thirty-eight of us will always have these eleven days that we shared together in Italy.

Italy, you're awesome. Your culture is tremendous. Your language is beautiful. Your country is fantastic. It's such a shame you're reputation and presumed "ways" are ruined back in the States and elsewhere in our shameful explanation what "Italian" entails. 

I hope to return someday (especially, Rome!), and the tag team partner and I have already agreed we will have to do so. 

With that said, England, prepare yourself, we're headed your way tomorrow! 

Arriverderci, Italy! 

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